"Living comfortably in retirement"

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RetiredNewbie
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Re: "Living comfortably in retirement"

Post by RetiredNewbie » Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:23 am

My retirement has been like dying and going to heaven, without the dying part. My days are full and I go to bed tired. I take my granddaughter to school every morning, and babysit my grandkids a few times a week to give their parents some free time. I take care of my 96 year old Dad, who fought in WWII and still gets around pretty well. I build and repair things in my workshop. I do volunteer work at the local Naval Hospital, which is an honor to be allowed to do. My to-do list grows by two items every time I take one item off of it. But I am doing exactly what I want to do, when I want to do it, every moment of my life. Been this way for seven years. I believe that if I would have retired and become a couch potato I would have died six years ago.

I'm glad I didn't listen to those that told me to pay off all my bills and dot every financial "i" and cross every financial "t" before I retired. My brother did that, and was diagnosed with leukemia a few months after he retired. I was with him when he died, and later thought to myself, "I'm not letting that happen to me. As soon as I can possibly retire, I'm going to do it and enjoy the rest of my family for as long as I can". And that's exactly what I did. I'm still making mortgage payments, and would make the same decision again in a heartbeat. Deciding when to retire is far more complicated than looking at a bunch of numbers on a spreadsheet.

Living in heaven is wonderful. I highly recommend it.
Last edited by RetiredNewbie on Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
Your attitude about risk changes significantly when the bear begins to maul you.

snowox
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Re: "Living comfortably in retirement"

Post by snowox » Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:01 am

At Piece of mind because I would / have accomplished being-
Debt free
100k a year from investments worry free and there still growing
Kids are off and doing well
Living where I want
Quality Social interaction
Trying to remain healthy while allowing myself to indulge
Do what I want when I want
Fade away not suffer away.

Bir48die
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Re: "Living comfortably in retirement"

Post by Bir48die » Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:17 am

PinotGris wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 11:58 am
lthenderson wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 11:56 am
DrGoogle2017 wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 11:51 am
It means not having to worry about your SWR. :D
+1 I think that answer is as succinct as any.
I will go one up. It means not knowing what SWR means. :beer
I disagree with this. I am living comfortably in retirement. Probably with budget higher than most. However, I am a man of numbers and you need to keep track of things. If you don't know what SWR means then you're living extravagantly. I have a decent income stream and a decent portfolio. However, keeping to some budget is prudent and you can still live comfortably. What does that mean for me? Just about the amount of spending money than when I was working.

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VictoriaF
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Re: "Living comfortably in retirement"

Post by VictoriaF » Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:30 am

tennisplyr wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 11:44 am
We often hear the goal/promise of living comfortably in retirement. What does that term mean to you, how do you know when you're there? Is it purely a financial thing, is it an emotional status, some combo, etc?
Comfortable has several meanings:
1) euphemism for being wealthy
2) physical comfort
3) psychological comfort

(1) Most Bogleheads retire when we have sufficient resources to maintain our lifestyle needs in perpetuity. Some of us fall for OMY which makes us even more comfortable at the expense of other comfortables.

(2) People who are financially comfortable tend to live in comfortable homes. But diseases and accidents create discomforts that may not be mitigated with money. Thus, "living comfortably in retirement" includes attention to our health as much as possible, for as long as possible.

(3) Psychological discomfort is the greatest risk of Bogleheads-type retirees. If we confine ourselves to large isolated homes and disengage from stimulating thoughts, people and activities, we become unhappy, which is inconsistent with being comfortable.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

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sunny_socal
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Re: "Living comfortably in retirement"

Post by sunny_socal » Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:37 am

I enjoy working, I would like to work for the rest of my life.

It's the _people_ at work that I never want to see again, LOL! (Well most people are ok but there are always a handful that are either bullies or annoying :wink: )

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Sandtrap
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Re: "Living comfortably in retirement"

Post by Sandtrap » Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:57 am

VictoriaF wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:30 am
tennisplyr wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 11:44 am
We often hear the goal/promise of living comfortably in retirement. What does that term mean to you, how do you know when you're there? Is it purely a financial thing, is it an emotional status, some combo, etc?
Comfortable has several meanings:
1) euphemism for being wealthy
2) physical comfort
3) psychological comfort

(1) Most Bogleheads retire when we have sufficient resources to maintain our lifestyle needs in perpetuity. Some of us fall for OMY which makes us even more comfortable at the expense of other comfortables.

(2) People who are financially comfortable tend to live in comfortable homes. But diseases and accidents create discomforts that may not be mitigated with money. Thus, "living comfortably in retirement" includes attention to our health as much as possible, for as long as possible.

(3) Psychological discomfort is the greatest risk of Bogleheads-type retirees. If we confine ourselves to large isolated homes and disengage from stimulating thoughts, people and activities, we become unhappy, which is inconsistent with being comfortable.

Victoria
+1
Perfect!
:happy
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flyingaway
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Re: "Living comfortably in retirement"

Post by flyingaway » Sun Feb 10, 2019 1:37 pm

I have the money and health to do what I want to do.
Hardly reachable, as my wants may change as I have more money.

reggiesimpson
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Re: "Living comfortably in retirement"

Post by reggiesimpson » Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:09 pm

midareff wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 11:49 am
It's meaning to us .... all base living expenses covered with annuities (pension and SS) and investments produce sufficient income for liberal international travel and luxuries. SWAN every night. We could move to bigger and/or better but are comfortable right where we are.
+1

eldinerocheapo
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Re: "Living comfortably in retirement"

Post by eldinerocheapo » Sun Feb 10, 2019 6:50 pm

To me, living comfortably in retirement means not knowing what day it is, and having plans to do all the things you couldn't get to while working. Trips, family, grandchildren, volunteer work, gardening and tennis would be just a few of the pastimes we'd like to enjoy when the time comes. We've fussed over investments for 35 years, time for the pendulum to swing the other way and begin spending these hard earned rewards.

seychellois_lib
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Re: "Living comfortably in retirement"

Post by seychellois_lib » Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:18 pm

One Ping wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 5:19 pm
As long as I can do what the great sage said ...

“A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do.” ― Bob Dylan

One Ping
Hear Hear. And I think this pretty well sums up retirement success too.

scrabbler1
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Re: "Living comfortably in retirement"

Post by scrabbler1 » Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:33 pm

When I was putting together my early retirement plan back in 2007-08, one condition to making that become a reality was to have no changes to my existing everyday lifestyle. If I go on a mild spending spree once in a while, it won't hamper my budget. My budget includes a surplus, or cushion, to cover small, unforeseen expenses, so said spending spree would simply use up that surplus and not cause any budgetary meltdown. That has been the case for the last 10 years and will continue going forward. I am 55 now.

Spirit Rider
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Re: "Living comfortably in retirement"

Post by Spirit Rider » Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:46 pm

reggiesimpson wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 7:45 pm
Time2Quit wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:09 pm
For me the definition is: Be able to do what you want and have your portfolio grow at the same time.
+1
I going to have to disagree with this. It is an irrelevant metric.

You can have a more than comfortable retirement, having a declining portfolio and still have a considerable safety margin.

PinotGris
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Re: "Living comfortably in retirement"

Post by PinotGris » Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:50 pm

Bir48die wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:17 am
PinotGris wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 11:58 am
lthenderson wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 11:56 am
DrGoogle2017 wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 11:51 am
It means not having to worry about your SWR. :D
+1 I think that answer is as succinct as any.
I will go one up. It means not knowing what SWR means. :beer
I disagree with this. I am living comfortably in retirement. Probably with budget higher than most. However, I am a man of numbers and you need to keep track of things. If you don't know what SWR means then you're living extravagantly. I have a decent income stream and a decent portfolio. However, keeping to some budget is prudent and you can still live comfortably. What does that mean for me? Just about the amount of spending money than when I was working.
A
We don't worry about it because we never withdraw antthing other than the MRW. Our SS and pension and investment income cover our needs as well as wants and then some. So that number does not mean much.

prairieman
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Re: "Living comfortably in retirement"

Post by prairieman » Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:11 pm

Like most, it means to me doing what I like without worrying about finances or health issues.
My brother who is nearing retirement assumed I was “on a fixed budget” and had to “watch every penny” now. I didn’t say anything, but thought that must be what he’s going to be doing. That does not sound comfortable to me. I was always more frugal than him and think maybe he assumed we weren’t as well off as we are.

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tooluser
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Re: "Living comfortably in retirement"

Post by tooluser » Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:33 pm

This to me is one of the pivotal questions of retirement. I struggle with the mathematically vs the psychologically correct answer.

I have a table in my retirement spreadsheet that looks sort of like this:

Code: Select all

1 Age at Retirement	                                A	B	C	D
2 Total Income vs Enough	                        100%	110%	120%	130%
3 Total Income in Good Years vs Enough	                120%	130%	140%	150%
4 Total Income in Bad Years vs Enough	                 85%	 93%	100%	110%
5 Total Income Once SS Kicks In (62) vs Enough	        120%	130%	140%	150%
6 Total Income in Bad Years vs Necessities Only	        135%	145%	160%	175%
7 Pension Income vs Necessities Only	                 75%	 85%	100%	110%
8 Pension Income in Bad Years vs Necessities Only	 70%	 80%	 90%	100%
Age A is Enough income on a nominal basis. Belt-tightening in historically worst ("Bad") years.
Age B has some pad to that.
Age C provides Enough income in the Bad years, and pension nominally covers my necessities.
Age D looks bullet-proof, pension covers necessities even in bad years. I should clarify that my pension is variable.
Age ABCD < 62 years, so Social Security (SS) should help make up for any mistakes, and makes things bullet-proof at age 62 regardless of Age ABCD.

Any of ABCD qualifies as "comfortable", depending on the definition used. :confused
It seems like Age C or D might be more than Enough almost always.
There seems to be a fundamental dichotomy between the safe withdrawal rate and the liability matching portfolio methods that suggest different retirement ages.
The discovery of America, and that of a passage to the East Indies by the Cape of Good Hope, are the two greatest and most important events recorded in the history of mankind. -- Adam Smith, 1776

PQ12$
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Re: "Living comfortably in retirement"

Post by PQ12$ » Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:22 am

2015 wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:30 pm
Living comfortably in retirement is not my goal. My goal encompasses the entirety of what retirement can mean in terms of the potential for my life. So I have intentionally made my "Wildly Important Idea" (per Cal Newport) to make retirement the most financially, materially, emotionally, and psychologically fulfilling time of life. I have most recently dubbed this project as "High Performance Aging" as I intend to take it into the end of my life.

I will never succeed in this project if I am only obsessed with the very narrow fields of investing, personal finance, and microeconomics. Complex adaptive systems such as human beings usually fail when focusing too narrowly. Liability matching has freed me to be unconcerned with these areas in order to place my attention on much more important aspects of living.
Love this!

reggiesimpson
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Re: "Living comfortably in retirement"

Post by reggiesimpson » Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:51 am

Spirit Rider wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:46 pm
reggiesimpson wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 7:45 pm
Time2Quit wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:09 pm
For me the definition is: Be able to do what you want and have your portfolio grow at the same time.
+1
I going to have to disagree with this. It is an irrelevant metric.

You can have a more than comfortable retirement, having a declining portfolio and still have a considerable safety margin.
I believe the term is "comfortable". I for one never feel comfortable with a declining portfolio. That considerable safety margin is eroding....not good IMHO.

catfish48084
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Re: "Living comfortably in retirement"

Post by catfish48084 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:27 pm

It means living care free, doing for and with our children, pretty much whatever (within reason) we want to do, with our income/investments growing and outpacing our spending needs. Today we have jobs that are needed to maintain that wealth accumulation - in a few years the growth component of our investments will enable us to discard the jobs and live happily ever after. Cant wait to be one of those retired people who smile so broadly their faces must hurt from time to time.

Spirit Rider
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Re: "Living comfortably in retirement"

Post by Spirit Rider » Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:38 pm

reggiesimpson wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:51 am
Spirit Rider wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:46 pm
reggiesimpson wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 7:45 pm
Time2Quit wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:09 pm
For me the definition is: Be able to do what you want and have your portfolio grow at the same time.
+1
I going to have to disagree with this. It is an irrelevant metric.

You can have a more than comfortable retirement, having a declining portfolio and still have a considerable safety margin.
I believe the term is "comfortable". I for one never feel comfortable with a declining portfolio. That considerable safety margin is eroding....not good IMHO.
All safe withdrawal rates are based on consuming at least some of the starting portfolio on average. The vast majority of people (including Bogleheads) consume some of their starting portfolio in retirement.

Far too many people put the majority of their retirement portfolio in principle protected assets. This has the inverse effect of reducing the amount money they can spend in retirement to be "comfortable".

I choose to be comfortable in my lifestyle while having a portfolio that allows me to sleep well at night. It is a portfolio AA and SWR that while it grew over the last 10 years, I fully expect it to decline over the next 30 years. That decline will not cause me the slightest concern.

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knpstr
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Re: "Living comfortably in retirement"

Post by knpstr » Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:14 pm

Davinci wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:02 pm
"Living comfortably in retirement"
"Enough". Currently reading the book, one of the best by Jack with amazing life's philosophy!

If one has been blessed with many diamonds through life, all you need in retirement: Warm house, food on the table, health, love, essentailly enough to cover all your basic needs and anything else is extra.
+1
I think this statement is very wise. :beer
Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking. -Marcus Aurelius

reggiesimpson
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Re: "Living comfortably in retirement"

Post by reggiesimpson » Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:37 pm

Spirit Rider wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:38 pm
reggiesimpson wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:51 am
Spirit Rider wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:46 pm
reggiesimpson wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 7:45 pm
Time2Quit wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:09 pm
For me the definition is: Be able to do what you want and have your portfolio grow at the same time.
+1
I going to have to disagree with this. It is an irrelevant metric.

You can have a more than comfortable retirement, having a declining portfolio and still have a considerable safety margin.
I believe the term is "comfortable". I for one never feel comfortable with a declining portfolio. That considerable safety margin is eroding....not good IMHO.
All safe withdrawal rates are based on consuming at least some of the starting portfolio on average. The vast majority of people (including Bogleheads) consume some of their starting portfolio in retirement.

Far too many people put the majority of their retirement portfolio in principle protected assets. This has the inverse effect of reducing the amount money they can spend in retirement to be "comfortable".

I choose to be comfortable in my lifestyle while having a portfolio that allows me to sleep well at night. It is a portfolio AA and SWR that while it grew over the last 10 years, I fully expect it to decline over the next 30 years. That decline will not cause me the slightest concern.
I hear you but everyones definition of comfortable is personal. Maybe some folks arent comfortable reducing their personal NAV over the course of the remainder of their lives (whatever that is) and want to leave a larger legacy? IMHO.

bck63
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Re: "Living comfortably in retirement"

Post by bck63 » Tue Feb 12, 2019 2:04 pm

For me a comfortable retirement will be to have our basic needs met, and be able to spend some time on the west coast each year where are kids are, or in Florida if they move near home at some point. My wife and I also want to travel. I also want to probably work very part time, and volunteer at the local soup kitchen and group home. A quiet, peaceful life where I am still giving in the community.

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